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Orangeside Serves Up 2 Endorsements
by Paul Bass | Oct 4, 2013 2:48 pm
Posted to: Campaign 2013
Small-business issues were on the menu during lunch hour at Orangeside Luncheonette Friday, as two notable figures threw their support to the mayoral campaign of Democrat Toni Harp.
One of the endorsers was Sergio Rodriguez, who ran a spirited grassroots campaign for city/town clerk in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary, barely losing to Harp running mate Michael Smart.
The other endorser was Tony Poleshek, Jr., owner of the popular Temple Street restaurant and the man behind New Haven’s most distinctive doughnut.
The endorsements took place at noon as diners began filling the booths and freestanding tables in the restaurant across the street from the Criterion Cinemas. Poleshek moved his four-and-a-half year-old restaurant there (in a space formerly occupied by the late vegetarian restaurant Red Lentil) from Orange Street earlier this year.
Harp’s crew has taken to eating breakfast at Orangeside while discussing campaign business.
“I do not support many politicians. I think a lot of people talk and don’t walk,” Poleshek said at a lectern set up amid the tables.
He said he “listened to the discussions” taking place at the Harp campaign tables. And he was impressed when Harp asked him “what I thought about small business in this community.” So he decided to throw his support behind her campaign. “I was really impressed that she wanted to learn more about what we need.”
He spoke Friday about what he believes New Haven small businesses need from government: The city should help lure more tourists to the city, including finding a way to revive the convention business lost when the old Coliseum came down. The city should also maintain the “residential base” of customers by keeping people happy.
Poleshek (pictured with his wife and co-restaurateur Michelle Poleshek) draws on a family tradition to make his signature square powdered and creme-filled doughnuts. Click here for a full story on how he does it.
After Poleshek spoke Rodriguez took the lectern. If it weren’t for the Harp mayoral campaign—which formed a ticket with clerk candidate Michael Smart for petitioning and vote-pulling purposes in the Sept. 10 primary—Rodriguez might very well be the Democratic candidate running for clerk right now. Backed by hundreds of Harp vote-pullers, Smart defeated Rodriguez 6,395 to 5,696.
That was all forgotten Friday, as Rodriguez enthusiastically endorsed Harp’s candidacy.
He, too, spoke about the needs of small business. In his clerk campaign, he reminded people, he called for creating a direct “pipeline” between the mayor’s office and the city’s 1,421 small businesses.
Rodriguez also spoke of Harp’s record as a state senator and alderwoman advocating for “the most vulnerable”: “the homeless, the immigrants, the mentally ill, and those suffering from addiction.”
“We need strong, seasoned leadership” in the mayor’s office, he argued. Echoing arguments made by the Harp campaign, he said her experience and contacts best position her to obtain state and federal money for the city.
Harp has promised to direct more city attention to small-business neighborhood corridors like Kimberly Avenue, Dixwell Avenue, and Grand Avenue.
Her campaign had lunch at Orangeside Friday. Their order included doughnuts.
Tags: Tony Poleshek, Toni Harp, Sergio Rodriguez
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Congratulations to Senator Harp and her team. I’m also very glad to see Mr. Rodriguez take a high road and endorse Senator Harp. This speaks volumes of his character and his thoughts on her character.
This explains a lot. Can’t wait to see the quid pro quo for Sergio if we’re so unfortunate as to have Harp win. The other curiosity is what mechanism in the city clerks office is Boss Bob Proto so longing for?
posted by: Razzie on October 4, 2013 4:00pm
Good Night, Justin!
And good morning to this.
Harp Revives ‘80s Development Crew.
and Good morning to this:
Mike Smart, a Harpie through and through who flew on the wings of her special interest campaign and defeated Sergio Rodriguez for City Clerk in the primary, is now fighting Tony Avallone because he’s crooked (according to Smart, not me) but he just happens to be same Tony Avallone who Harp has nominated as a member of her stale back to the 80’s cabinet…really?
Are these people serious? These are the people that we want to lead? Is this some type of joke where you get people to submit to you but acting so insane that they have no choice but to?
He should of asked her what she thought about how important it is to pay your property tax.
my bad I guess I am writing in teletubbie!
I should of listened to the older ladys of my community they know fakers or as they say, jacks and a few other things I am not able to say.
I wonder what job Sergio was promised in a Harp administration? Let’s hope we don’t find out.
Sergio, you used to have my respect and even my vote. But when you pull a stunt that is obviously for personal reasons looking for a job handout from Ms. Harp, you have lost all of my respect. I was honestly considering writing you in for City Clerk. In any case, I hope you enjoy what you get by selling yourself out.
This is what New Haven would look like under a Harp administration, backroom political deals, and favors for sale to the highest bidder. I hope, for the future of this city and every person in it, that New Haveners open their eyes and truly question why certain people and special interests have chosen to affiliate themselves with Ms. Harp.
My understanding was that Sergio was afraid he’d burn bridges if he kept running after losing the primary. This latest should be seen as a prelude to running for State office, once a seat opens up.
Obviously New Haven remains a one-party town, with a ruling clique in place. But this endorsement doesn’t do much more than drive home the fact that Sergio is just another politician, tripping over himself to kiss the ring and fall in line.
What is interesting here is that if Sergio would have won the primary he would have been teamed up with Harp anyway. I may not like his decision but I respect his right to support who ever he so wishes to support even if I do not agree with him and in politics there is always compromise. Look at the state of of our federal government and it’s inability to compromise and negotiate. He ran a great primary race without kissing anybody’s ring and never supported anyone and now I wish him all the best. I hope he finds a spot either elected or somewhere where he can continue to serve our community.
I’ll never understand why business owners endorse candidates. Don’t they know they risk alienating potential patrons who support the other guy?
Does Dmarie seriously think we might give up a good donut for political reasons? :-)
Once again, the Elicker Syndrome is played out on the pages of NHI. Once a crowd favorite, Sergio enjoyed the support and praise of Elicker Independents for his fairness, integrity, and independence in action. But as soon as he exercises his independent judgement and chooses someone other than Elicker, the knives come out and his integrity, honesty, and moral character gets savaged. Just like they did to Gary H-W; just like they did to Sundiata; just like they did to Nemerson; and on, and on for the countless others who have endorsed Sen Toni Harp for Mayor. That’s the classic definition of “sore losers”—people who compete vigorously for the prize (endorsements) and then actively disparage the prize once it has been claimed by a superior candidate.
You can take heart Elicker Elites ... there aren’t very many more endorsements to compete for. Your losing streak is safe.